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Contact: James Doyle, 970-586-1363
A wildfire was reported around 2 p.m. today approximately 2 miles west of Fern Lake Trailhead on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The fire is west of Moraine Park which is bisected by the Bear Lake Road. As of 5 p.m. the fire was reported to be 300 acres and burning to the north in steep, forested terrain. The fire is burning up-slope toward alpine tundra. There are no structures threatened.
Park personnel are on scene and additional fire personnel and air support have arrived. Due to steep, inaccessible terrain, crews will not be put on the fire line tonight. Fire personnel will remain at the fire and will monitor activity throughout the night. Fire crews and engines are on order and one crew is expected to arrive tonight.
Currently, Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows Road and Moraine Park Campground are closed. The campground was evacuated along with backcountry campsites and trails in the area of the fire. Trail Ridge Road, highway 34, remains open.
Trails west of Bear Lake Road and south of Trail Ridge Road are closed.
There have been no evacuations of residents in the Estes Park area, though heavy smoke drifting over town has caused considerable concern. A fire information number has been set up with a recorded message and will be updated as conditions change. The number is 970-586-1381.
An air tanker (SEAT) and heavy helitanker have arrived but due to cloudy and turbulent conditions they are unable to fly.
Note: while the fire was very active this afternoon, it is expected that fire activity will decrease as night approaches and unless conditions change, this will be the only update this evening.